Citing several recent police brutality assaults on Black residents and a new bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens which requires victims of discrimination to prove the motivating factor of discrimination, the NAACP hopes to prevent Black people from being victims of racist encounters and attacks in the state.
The recent attacks on Black people in Missouri include the hot glue gun attack of a teenager in St. Louis and the death of a 28-year-old Tory Sanders, who died in jail after an altercation with police. Sanders allegedly took a wrong turn while traveling through Missouri and ended up in jail, although he hadn’t been accused of any crime.
Nimrod Chapel Jr., attorney president of the NAACP in Missouri said discrimination is being legalized in Missouri.
“The advisory is for people to be aware, and warn their families and friends and co-workers of what could happen in Missouri People need to be ready, whether its bringing bail money with them, or letting relatives know they are traveling through the state.”
The travel advisory cites the attorney general’s report showing data stating that Black drivers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to be pulled over by police than Whites.
Missouri became one of the first states making housing or employment discrimination lawsuits harder to win. Gov. Greitens called the bill common sense reform and says the standard is currently used by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The new discrimination law goes into effect on August 28 and the NAACP is advising people to file any complaints they may have before then.
"With the Missouri Human Rights Act gutted, employers who want to engage in illegal workplace discrimination will have no fear of being held accountable. While SB 43 might not quite return us to the days when businesses were free to hang 'minorities need not apply' signs in the window, it certainly reinforces the sentiment."
Travel advisories are usually issued by the U.S. State Department to warn U.S citizens of dangers in all places in the world. This year, the State Department had issued more than 40 advisories alerting citizens of growing violence, treacherous weather and political instability.
The ACLU issued a similar travel advisory in 2010 when Arizona passed its controversial immigration enforcement law.